Sex Discrimination

It is one of the key principles of equality that everyone should be entitled to receive the same wage for like-for-like work. However, some employers continue to discriminate against their employees solely on the grounds of their sex.

Direct sex discrimination is where an employer treats an employee less favourably simply due to their gender. An example of direct sex discrimination would be if an employer was not prepared to offer a position as secretary to a man, on the basis that they do not believe that a man would be able to carry out this form of work. A similar scenario would be an employer unreasonably refusing to employ a woman as a builder.

Indirect sex discrimination takes place when an employee is placed at a disadvantage due to a provision, criteria or practice which applies to everyone, but places the individual (and other people of that sex) at a disadvantage. An example of indirect sex discrimination would be a requirement to work full-time, on the basis that this is harder for women, who are more likely to have child-care responsibilities than men.

Victimisation by the employer would take place if an employee was to be treated unfavourably simply because they had chosen to bring a claim of sex discrimination, have made a complaint, or have acted as a witness for someone who had made such a complaint.

It is also harassment to subject an employee to unwanted or unwarranted conduct related to their gender, which could reasonably be considered to cause that employee offence.